Red Currant Jam

I made red currant jam. I picked 500 g from our red currant bush and made jam by adding 250 g of sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. I also added Gelierfix, a pectin-based gelling agent, according to the instructions to help the jam set. I canned the jam in a water bath for ten minutes, so it is shelf-stable. Looking forward to eating the jam for breakfast or using it for baking in the winter months.

Porch Update Early June

The porch looks great. I have a nice mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Despite my vow to not grow tomatoes on the porch this year, I have two cherry tomato plants: one Black Strawberry (grown from seed) and one Super Sweet 100 (given to me by a friend). I also have three pepper plants: Thai, Jalapeno and Sweet Pickle, one big container of basil and numerous other herbs (rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, chives, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley). Plus a big pot with Swiss Chard, which I have been harvesting and eating (for example sauteed with garlic over pan-fried lemon garlic flounder) over the past few days. A couple of days ago, I reseeded salad greens in two of the pepper containers (May Queen with the Jalapeno and Salanova Mix with the Sweet Pickle). The third pepper container (Thai) contains the Thai basil.

Almost all of my porch plantings. On the other end of the porch are my potted palm, a (tiny) bitter orange tree, lemon grass, calendula and cilantro.

Peas and Scapes

Today’s harvest

I went to the garden this morning to water, and I harvested peas and garlic scapes. The garden is looking good, everything is growing nicely except the kale, which has become victim to some nibbler. If I am lucky, I will have one surviving plant. Other than that, everything looks great. The corn is coming up (I think, unless I mistook some weeds for it) and the dahlias (that I had stored in the basement since the fall under complete neglect) are also growing. I am excited.

I will have the peas for lunch (in a salad most likely) and will make pesto with the garlic scapes.

Planting Flowers and Corn

Today I direct-seeded Zinnias, Cosmos, Nigella and poppies (towards the fence) as well as nasturtium (in between the tomatoes and the kale and chard). I also planted corn: King Philip corn, a Wampanoag native flint corn (I received the seeds from True Love Seeds through a friend) and glass gem corn (seeds saved from last year). I also reseeded carrots. My dahlia tubers will go in the ground tomorrow. Miraculously, every single one survived the winter in my basement being completely neglected. Looking forward to lots of flowers this season.

I also harvested the last of my porch radishes for this spring. So crisp and sharp!

Planting the Last Seedlings

I finished planting my garden plot for now. Today, I transplanted the remaining seedlings: 5 cucumbers (3 x National Pickling, 1 x Straight Eight, 1 x Tokiwa), winter squash (one each butternut, honey nut, delicata), one more tomato just because (Dr. Wyche Yellow), leeks, cilantro, 1 zucchini, lettuces (May Queen, Salanova Mix and Black Seeded Simpson), eggplant (3 each Nadia and Thai), kale and Swiss Chard. All I have to do now is put in flowers (all direct-sow except the dahlias) and direct-sow corn, beets, carrots and greens and plant the rhubarb.

Planting Tomatoes

I finally got to spend a few hours in the garden to weed and plant. COVID had basically knocked me out the entire month of April, and life, work and the weather got in the way until today. While weeding, I discovered that the cilantro and the beets I sowed earlier this spring germinated. They are tiny because of all the weeds but are looking strong. Yay! So I excavated them plus the sole kale plant and the couple of carrots that survived. I have had all my seedlings ready for weeks, but now finally got to plant the first batch: tomatoes (12 plants, 10 varieties total, I doubled Ananas Noire and Stupice), four basil plants and four marigolds. All grown from seed except the marigolds, which came from Neighborhood Farm. The peas and the garlic are looking good. Next, I will plant all the cucumbers and squash, eggplant, lettuce, leeks etc. waiting so patiently on my back porch.